Nowhere to go
‘People lost everything in these floods,’ Rosemary, from our South Sudan team, tells us. ‘Their homes, their possessions and also their livestock and crops were washed away, leaving them with no way to earn an income.
‘Some communities are now living in tiny compounds, with makeshift sticks holding back the rising waters. Reaching them with support has been difficult.
‘Most people were forced to find refuge on higher ground. But now, more than a year later, the water hasn’t receded.
‘Some people have tried to go back home, but what are they going back to? There is nothing left.’
Further challenges ahead
‘The water has brought so many challenges,’ Rosemary continues. ‘Communities are now facing disease and hunger, as well as snake bites – which can be deadly.
‘Cases of malaria, diarrhoea and other waterborne illnesses have increased. Hunger – and malnutrition – is also rising again, particularly in children. The flooding has cut off some communities from healthcare, so getting medical support is extremely challenging.’
Communities used to get their water from boreholes – large holes drilled into the ground. These have not only been submerged, but also contaminated by dirty water. Tearfund is working to restore these boreholes.
Tearfund continues to provide food support – even though one of our feeding centres remains underwater. Now that farming is no longer an option, we are also supporting people with fishing kits as an alternative way they can provide for their family.